Grizzlies crush Spurs to take charge


MEMPHIS, Tennessee, April 26 – The eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies have seized a commanding 3-1 series lead in the opening round of the NBA playoffs by dominating the San Antonio Spurs 104-86.

Mike Conley finished with 15 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies who can make franchise history Wednesday in San Antonio as they need one more win to post their first playoff series win.

The Grizzlies are also one victory away from becoming just the second eighth-seeded team to knock off a number one seed since the NBA expanded to a best-of-seven series format.

Darrell Arthur added 14 points off the bench for Memphis in game four. Tony Allen finished with 12, Zach Randolph and OJ Mayo had 11 each.

Tony Parker had a game-high 23 points but also committed seven turnovers for the Spurs.

Manu Ginobili finished with 14 points while Tim Duncan was held to just a half dozen points and seven rebounds in the loss. Duncan was celebrating his 35th birthday.

The Spurs came out quickly as they drained eight of their first 10 shots to lead 26-21 heading into the second quarter. Parker scored eight of the first 10 points in the game.

It marked the first time in the series San Antonio had outscored the Grizzlies in the opening quarter but it was downhill from there.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 25 points in the third quarter to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 93-82 victory over Portland in game five of their playoff series Monday.

Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and a playoff career high 20 rebounds for the Mavericks who averted another late game collapse. Jason Kidd added 14 assists.

In game four, Dallas led by as much as 23 in the third quarter before unravelling in the final quarter for the loss.

Dallas can close out the series with a win at Portland in game six on Thursday where they have yet to win this season.

In the history of the NBA, the team that wins game five after a 2-2 tie in games goes on to win the series 83 percent of the time.